I feel as though I speak for most Settlers of Catan board game fans when I say that nothing is more disheartening than opening the box and looking down at a chaotic disaster of cards and hexagons. After painstakingly sorting out all the pieces last time I played (delaying for at least 10 minutes my unfortunate defeat by an opponent with the longest road), I decided something had to be done. Although it does nothing for my mediocre Catan skills, this board game box insert is a great and easy way to organize all the pieces while still using the original box.
After a quick google search, I realized that a surprising number of people have gone above and beyond, creating perfectly sectioned wooden Catan board game boxes. Rather than dedicating the next two weeks of my life to this project, I designed my box insert so that it would only take up a few hours of my time.
Using a small piece of bamboo plywood and some wooden dowels, I created sections on the board for each type of piece. I measured everything out so that the pieces all fit tightly into their individual sections (I also purchased a cheap metal tin for all the smaller bits and bobs). Once all the dowels were placed, the cards and pieces were held down with rubber bands.
For a nice finishing touch, I engraved labels onto the surface of the board using a laser cutter. I realize that laser cutters are not the easiest to come by, so this extra step is completely optional. Nonetheless, if you like the idea of labels but don’t have access to a cutter, you can always paint, draw, or burn them on.
Just to make sure my design actually worked, I put everything in the box and shook it vigorously. As I hoped, everything stayed in place and now I can look forward to some stress-free Catan.